Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review of “The Second Engineer” by Gray Rinehart


“The Second Engineer” by Gray Rinehart is a novelette that was published in the October/November issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  The second engineer of a starship believes she is losing her mind when the vessel starts “singing” to her.

Finally!  Here is a good, well-written story from this issue of Asimov’s.  I was beginning to despair after reading its first four offerings.  The space navy elements were detailed and authentic, both in terms of mechanics and military protocol.  The young lieutenant, whose extra-sensory perception results in her ability (whether she likes it or not) to hear/feel the “emotions” or “song” of her starship, is a believable character with whom it is easy to identify and for whom it is easy to cheer.  The plot gradually builds to an exciting climax worthy of Star Trek, and the mystery of the “singing” is explained just enough to leave the reader satisfied but wanting to know more.  I would not mind reading an entire novel, or series of them, set in this world with this character.   

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